The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) deplores the widespread attacks on Muslim communities in Sri Lanka that threaten to spiral out of control.
Over the past week, crowds of up to 1,000 people have ransacked Muslim areas of several towns and villages in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This has resulted in the burning of scores of houses, many Mosques and the coldblooded murder of innocent civilians.
Observers have stated that the attacks have been both co-ordinated and well managed. These attacks are the accumulation of several years of vilification of Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim community by a number of figures linked to extremist Buddhist forces from nearby Myanmar, where a genocide of the Muslim Rohingya has been ongoing for a number of years.
MAB calls on and urges the Sri Lankan authorities to take strong and immediate action to halt the violence, apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice to ensure crimes such as these do not reoccur. We also call for strong laws to be brought in to combat hate speech in the country.
We call upon our Government, through the Foreign Office, to issue a clear statement condemning these attacks and to utilise whatever influence it has to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to ensure a swift end to these crimes.
The Muslim Association of Britain also welcomes the visit to Sri Lanka by Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and urges him to take the opportunity to impress on the Sri Lankan authorities the importance of protecting minorities.
This episode is yet another example of how quickly unchecked Islamophobia can escalate into mob violence. Our prayers and thoughts are with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters and all others affected by this concerning development.
Muslim Association of Britain
11th March 2018
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